Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The tipping point

I was inspired today as I was thinking about success and failure and what it is that makes the difference. Sometimes it's not very much that separates us from success or failure. It's like how a horse race can be won by one inch. This one inch can mean the difference between someone losing or winning thousands of dollars. Or how about a man being 5 minutes late for the subway? The doors shut and it's off before he even arrives. This forces him to take the next train and because of this, he is late for an interview. Because he is late for the interview, his potential employer interprets this as lack of respect for time and he doesn't hire the man.

Sometimes the difference in getting what you desire or not in life is found in the small things. Small things can truly make the difference. They can be the tipping point. The tipping point is the threshold or boiling point. The moment of critical mass when the odds shift in your favor. Although we can't always perceive the tipping point in situations in our life I can assure you that they exist.
Einstein said "nothing happens until something moves." Although we might not always be able to see the reason behind certain things happening in our lives, it doesn't mean that there's not one.

I had this thought recently about the tipping point in regards to the cancer epidemic. What is the tipping point in regards to the factors that decide if one will get cancer or not? We don't know all the causes of cancer yet, but we do know things that will increase or decrease our risk. For example, we know that being exposed to certain types of chemicals increases our risk. We also know that eating fruits and vegetables and regular exercise decreases our risk. We know that certain genetic factors put as more at risk than others, but even in these situations it still comes down to our choices that raise or lower our risk.
Since we know that it's our own actions that raise or lower our risk, doesn't that also imply that there is a tipping point? A point where the odds tip in our favor and we don't end up getting cancer? Just because we can't perceive the tipping point, doesn't mean it is not there. Maybe eating 5 more tomatoes this year is just enough to boost our immune system enough to ward off cancer. Maybe the very fact that we chose to eat the tomatoes means that we weren't filling our stomach hamburgers. Maybe the hamburger meat contained pesticides from the corn that the cows ate and by us consuming it, it would have tipped the scales out of our favor. Maybe just enough that we would have cancer. This is the reason why every decision, even the small ones count.

I heard a story recently from a nice gentlemen I met. He told me how he used to party a lot and use drugs and alcohol. I know what he means when he called it partying because I used to have my share, but I would have to challenge his definition of "partying." You don't need drugs and alcohol to party, in fact in my opinion, a happy satisfied life doesn't include either. I'm not saying a glass of wine or two is bad for some, but if you need it to "party" then you are self medicating. 

The story goes like this.....One night his friends were out drinking and using drugs. This time, he decided to stay home because his wife influenced him to do so. After hsi friends were drunk and high, they left the bar. They decided to drive home in spite of their intoxication. 

Somewhere on their drive home, the car had gone off the road and someone in the car was thrown from the car and died.  

This could have been prevented just by some small decisions. Just a few better decisions. 

 Somewhere the scales were tipped the other way and a life was lost. A friend was lost. A son was lost.

The man who told me this story said that after the experience of losing his friend to this drug and alcohol related accident, he decided to quit partying and quit using drugs.

Although this was terribly sad for everyone, things could have been much worse. If his wife wouldn't have influenced him to stay home, he would have been dead too. There are so many factors involved but the point I'm trying to make is that every decision matters. Even the small ones.

A happy successful life is made up of not just a few big good decisions, but all the little good decisions along the way. That's called character and integrity. Developing character and integrity by doing the right thing, all of the time will lead you to success. 

 Yes we are human and are imperfect so we also need grace but we can choose to become excellent in our decisions. We can go from choosing good things over bad things to choosing great things over good things. If we fill our lives with great decisions, we will have no room for the bad things. 

Next time you are tempted to make a wrong choice, remember. "The tipping point" is always in action and the "law of sowing and reaping" will eventually catch up to us. 

You never know what small decision can tip the scales in your favor and allow you to live up to your potential. Allow you to live out the life you've always dreamed of.

Blessings friend -Rob

You can also visit me @ roblovegreen.com

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